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Does a robot know what is right? A project introduces technical aspects and moral implications of AI in Primary School

   ALICANTE, 15 Sep.

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Does a robot know what is right? A project introduces technical aspects and moral implications of AI in Primary School


The University of Alicante (UA) has developed a project to introduce Artificial Intelligence in primary education. The initiative makes teaching materials available to students for training in aspects related to AI, such as its technical foundations, its impact on today's society, as well as its ethical and moral implications.

The project, financed by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), dependent on the Ministry of Science and Innovation, focuses on students and teachers in the third cycle of Primary Education (between 10 and 12 years old), according to indicated the academic institution in a statement.

Can machines see or hear? How does ChatGPT work? Or does a robot know what is right or wrong? These are some of the questions raised by the UA's 'AI Classroom: Introducing Artificial Intelligence in Primary Education' initiative.

The professor of the Department of Computer Languages ​​and Systems of the UA and promoter of the Aula IA project, David Tomás, has pointed out that this type of technologies are "increasingly present", for example through virtual assistants at home or tools such as ChatGPT. "It is foreseeable that in the near future the expansion of AI will imply a drastic transformation in many of the jobs that we now know, especially affecting today's boys and girls," he explained.

With this approach of AI to primary classrooms, the UA aims to promote scientific-technological literacy among schoolchildren and teachers, promoting the interest of students from an early age in studies in the STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). ) through the direct application of AI tools to activities in your immediate environment.

"In this way we seek to encourage the incorporation of students both into higher cycles of formal training and into their future professional life, highlighting the social and economic usefulness of science and technology," highlighted the professor.

The proposal dedicated to education and scientific vocations launched by the UA has materialized in the development of a set of teaching materials on different aspects of AI that are available online for free access and use through the web. from Classroom IA.

"Right now, a good part of the content is already available, which will continue to be updated over the coming months given that these technologies evolve very quickly," detailed the person responsible for the project.

These materials include a set of activities and a series of introductory videos on AI that describe both its technical aspects and its economic and social implications. "Although the target audience for these activities and videos are third-cycle primary school students and teachers, their contents are suitable for the general public," she stated.

Throughout the execution of the Aula IA project, more than 400 schoolchildren and 50 teachers from a dozen centers in Alicante, Elche, Ibi and Villena have participated in practical and training sessions. The teacher highlighted that the result of these sessions has been "very positive" on the part of most students and their teachers.

"They have served to adjust the materials that can already be consulted on the project website. Our objective now is to be able to continue with the sessions and training, expand content and bring AI closer to the entire population in a positive way," he stressed.

AI Classroom: Introducing Artificial Intelligence in Primary Education, developed at the University Institute of Computer Research and led by David Tomás, has the participation of a wide list of UA professors, such as Cristina Cachero, from the Department of Computer Languages ​​and Systems ; Francisco Pujol, from the Department of Information Technology and Computing; and María Dolores de Juan, from the Marketing Department; as well as María del Pilar Barra, professor at the Department of Tourism at the San Antonio Catholic University of Murcia; and the primary school teachers María Inmaculada Caruana, from the CEIP Bec de l'Àguila (Sant Vicent del Raspeig); and José María Cuesta, from the CEIP Mediterráneo (Alicante).